This season, however, we have already seen many big names exit and shocks galore.  The biggest of these shocks was the scalp of the greatest ever club to play in the completion, Real Madrid, when they were humbled at home to Dutch outfit Ajax.  

Now we are left with the eight clubs, each with a chance of becoming European champions, including four English sides. Meaning it is all still to play for in the Quarter Finals.  

In the first Quarter Final, Tottenham Hotspurs play Premier League rivals Manchester City. The second QF will see Cristiano Ronaldo lead out his Juventus side against Madrid conquers Ajax.  Man Utd will play the always intimidating and classy Barcelona after their shock win over Paris Saint Germain in the third of the Quarter Finals, and last year’s losing finalist Liverpool will host Porto in the final Quarter Final.  

One of these eight teams will pick up the trophy in Madrid on June 1st, and who that will be is anyone’s guess, with nothing to choose between them in the latest sports betting odds. One thing is for certain in the remaining months of this season we are going to be treated to some great football and exciting drama. 

With that in mind, we take a look back at some of the greatest games in European football history. 

The 2005 Final – Milan vs Liverpool 

Going into this game, Milan were odds on favourites to win the trophy yet again, with Liverpool seen as doing well to have reached the final in Turkey.  And early on the game was going like most people felt it might with Liverpool looking out of their depths and outclassed as Milan stormed to a 3-0 half time lead. Rumours say at this point that several thousand Liverpool fans tried to exit the Istanbul arena but found the gates locked. 

If the rumours are true, the fans will be glad they were as this game was the ultimate game of two halves. At half time, Rafa Benitez brought on Didi Hamann and the game turned on its head finishing 3-3 after second-half goals by Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso.  Although, this was only part of the story with Jerzy Dudek performing heroics in goal to stop Andry Shevchenko putting the game to bed. 

The game heading into extra time and it now looked like Milan might again show their class and score in extra time, however, the Merseyside club held on to take the game to penalties, where the went on to win 3-2 and complete the most astonishing comeback in European final history. 

2009 Semi Final – Chelsea v Barcelona 

Chelsea had been so close on so many occasions going into this tough semi-final with European powerhouse Barcelona.  They had played well in the first leg getting a goalless draw in the Camp Nou, ensuring a win would be enough at Stanford Bridge to take them through to the Final in Rome to face Manchester United. 

Guus Hiddink’s side was defensively dominant on the night and after just eight minutes, Frank Lampard’s wayward pass was only partially cleared and met by the boot of Michael Essien who thundered the ball into the Barcelona net.  Giving Chelsea a lead and something to hold on to.  

Chelsea FC then was heroic on the night, and could, and probably should have had the opportunity to put the game to bed by being awarded one of the four clear penalty shouts they had during the 90minutes. However, that was not to be, and it was to be heartbreak for the London club, as late on Barcelona was to have their first shot on goal when Spanish wizard Iniesta broke free and slotted neatly past the helpless Petr Cech; giving Barcelona an undeserved draw and sending them to the final in Rome. 

2010 Semi-Final – Barcelona v Inter Milan

The Semi-Final in 2010’s Champions League, saw the intense rivalry between Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola begin.  This was peak Jose Mourinho, and the Portuguese manager was still living up to the “special one” tag after successful spells at Chelsea and Porto. 

Mourinho took his Inter side to Barcelona in the first-leg with little expectation of success, especially after his side went behind early.  However, back came the Milan club with goals from Sneijder and two from Diego Milito, giving Inter a remarkable, but deserved, 3-1 lead after the first leg. 

There was more drama to come in the second leg, where Mourinho cemented his legacy as a tactical genius.  Early in the second leg, Inter Milan saw defensive midfielder Thiago Motta sent off, leaving them to try hold out with ten men.  Inter Milan showed grit and after a defensive masterclass stopped Barcelona creating for much of the match.  Gerard Pique did give Barcelona hope late on, but it was too little too late, and Mourinho would go on to guide his Italian outfit to the trophy that year. 

1999 Final – Manchester United v Bayern Munich

Going into the final, Manchester United had been very successful under Sir Alex Ferguson, but had not yet won the Champions League.  United’s task was a tough one, and Bayern Munich took a first-half lead, which remained for much of the match in Barcelona.  

However, when the clock hit 90minutes, we were about to enter the most famous stoppage time in European football history. Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole had led the line for much of the match, but Alex Ferguson brought on his special subs Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham in the hope they could change the game, and boy did they! First up Teddy Sheringham levelled the match, which looked like surely sending the game to extra time, but just seconds later Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored the goal which won Manchester United the European Cup and secured them the most remarkable treble. 

Those are what we think are the greatest Champions League games of all time.